The Independents Group has acquired Prodject, the New York-based creative agency behind the hottest fashion and entertainment events, including the Met Gala, the Savage x Fenty fashion show and Jay-Z’s Oscars. at the after party.
The Independents was founded in 2017 following the merger of Karla Otto’s PR firm and Asian experiential marketing and events agency K2. The group has since acquired Qode, a Dubai-based luxury communications agency; Lefty, a Paris-based influencer marketing firm; and Bureau Betak, a New York, Paris and Shanghai fashion event production company founded by Alexandre de Betak.
This latest acquisition is designed to increase The Independents’ presence in North America, a key driver of growth in the luxury sector, group CEO Isabelle Schuvet told BoF. The addition of Prodject to its portfolio strengthens the company’s presence and capabilities in the US, aligning the size of its US business with its businesses in Europe and Asia.
“Project is really the leader in terms of experience in the US, you don’t get any better,” Shuve said. “Our goal with this purchase is to really strengthen in the US. Now, thanks to joining the Project, we will be the only ones [player] with the possibilities that we have.”
The project will also help The Independents strengthen its reach beyond luxury in technology, film, art and music. In addition to staging shows and events for brands such as Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Cartier, the agency organizes events such as the LACMA art+film gala.
“When we started, the ambition here was to create a creative agency that would work cross-platform, so not just in fashion, but in art, music, technology, cultural events,” said Keith Baptista, co-founder of Prodject. . “That’s what makes it unique.”
Prodject is the second event production company to be acquired by The Independents, which acquired a majority stake in Bureau Betak last year. But Chouvet does not see the danger of cannibalism. both companies have different client list and mainly operate in different territories. Plus, “the know-how they have is so different,” he said.
As part of the deal, Prodject co-founders Tobias Armstrong, Jihye Song and Baptista will receive equity in the group. Chouvet declined to comment further on the terms of the deal or the addition to Project’s annual revenue.
Independent Group now employs over 600 people in 13 offices around the world. Revenues are expected to reach about $350 million in 2022, up 50 percent year over year, the company said. Chouvet plans to double the size of the group over the next three years, with further acquisitions planned in the coming months.